MLGW bills 22 percent higher due to winter's bite - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

MLGW bills 22 percent higher due to winter's bite

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Last year's winter was a mild one. This year? No so much.

"My rent and my utility bill are almost the same," said Pam Lott, who is worried about high electric bill. "Because of the weather."

"All we do is work to pay bills," added Jerry Bradley, who puts money aside each week to cover his electric bill.

"Our customer bills have gone up, including mine," admits Gale Jones Carson, MLGW spokeswoman.

MORE: MLGW Assistance

MORE: Winter Weather Resource Guide

Carson said MLGW customers can expect their bills to go up an average of 22 percent, compared to the warmer winter of 2012-13.

"We have had extremely cold temperatures all over this country and Memphis is no exception," Carson said.

Employees at MLGW say you should try to keep your thermostat set at 68 degrees during the winter. That's tough for some, but even if you keep it at 70 or maybe 75 inside and it's 20 degrees outside, the heating system is going to be working a lot just to keep your house at that temp.

"It's very hard to deal with," Lott said.

Carson said she hears that loud and clear which is why her company is trying to come up with different ways to help customers this winter. MLGW crews don't cut customers off for non-payment when it's below freezing outside and the company has loosened the conditions on their deferred payment plan.

"To spread those payments out over a long period of time, so they can have heat, so they won't be cut off," Carson said.

Lott and Bradley said they're hopeful, because this winter hurts.

"You can barely put gas in your car," Lott said. "You have to maneuver bills that you really have to pay, to be able to pay your light bill, to keep the utilities on because it's cold outside."

"People have to buy food, people have to buy gas to drive their cars," Bradley added. "It's just no winning out here. There's no winning out here for the middle class, the lower class, the working man."

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